Monday, March 28, 2011

Elder Balmforth at the elephant park in Georg.
Elder Balmforth and his new companion Elder Fozard.

Good O'l George

Hello from George,
I am liking it here.  I miss Knysna like crazy and miss the humble township people so bad.  I really have no respect for white people here.  A less active lady yelled at me for going to war with Libya.  I almost flipped out at her, but my companion just touched my arm to keep me calm.  I mean, COME ON LADY, I didn't even know we were at war with Libya.   I haven't seen the darn news for nearly six months and last I checked I was not Obama, so back off.....but I kept my little missionary composure and said "oh that's too bad", but I did say at least we are not the #1 rape capital of the world.  Which was really uncalled for but it just slipped out.  They are all just so racist here.  White people in Knysna were NOT like this!  It is really hard to handle sometimes.  I was not raised that way and we are all Heavenly Father's children.

We are going to Port Elizabeth tomorrow for zone conference.  It should be good but I am not looking forward to the four and a half hour drive.  At least we can all drive.  I can't wait to drive through Knysna.

So my companion is cool.  It's a lot like having a little brother I'm sure.   I don't have a little brother but if I did he would be annoying and immature sometimes. He's a bit crazy but he is way nice and a great teacher.  He is a lot different from Elder Nzuki and Elder Leach but it's been a good experience.  Elder Fozard has been a huge help.  It's been like a roller coaster MTC way way down.  Elder Leach brought it way up and Elder Nzuki, Low as the earths core.  So with Elder Fozard I am on my way up, so he's been a blessing.  We do a lot of finding.  I feel like I'm in the states sometimes, but I bet people there would be a little more friendly.  Don't get me wrong one out of twenty white people are very friendly and invite us in for some cool drink.  I'm enjoying the experience.  I mean how many missionaries can be serving in a third world country and then get transferred only one hour away and be in a nice area with wealthy white people?  It has been great.

We have a few good investigators, we have a husband and wife, Evone and Frikke, actually they are not married but they are open to the ideal.  They are very prepared.  The only trouble is that the branch is mainly blacks and when white people come to visit the church, they don't come back.  The blacks come from the other Elder's area.  I think once Evone and Frikki come they will handle it okay.  I hope.  Sadly those are really the only investigators we have.  We work a lot with white less actives.  They are less active because the Branch President is is so sad.  I admit it's a little unorganized bit it won't get better with all these less actives.  I don't understand how some one can know about such an amazing truth, pray and receive that witness for themselves, be baptized and then go less active.  What!!!  This gospel is so sacred and so amazing.  It's THE ONLY WAY we can return to live with our Father in Heaven!  I know I probably offended some people so I am sorry, but with that said, I am so thankful for the spirit world and for the opportunity others will have to except Heavenly Father's plan.  I'm so thankful for the temples we are so blessed with and I will never take them for granted again.  I can't wait to go to the temple often.  Anyway, it's been a great week and I'm so thankful for this amazing opportunity to serve.  I love you all and I hope you have a great week!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Getting ready to leave Knysna.

Just another day in Paradise!! 03/21/11

Hello one and all!
So at the beginning of this week I was just a hot mess.  I wanted to know what would happen with transfers!!  I was sure that if anyone left it would for sure be Elder Nzuki,  but the APs called on Tuesday, and said that I would be leaving but not too far (which is not common) they said I would be going off to George which is a great area only about a 1 hour drive from Knysna.  So we said our goodbyes and that was hard but it was easier than leaving Paarl because I knew I needed it......BAD.  I loved the people of Knysna and I really miss them. I'll get to drive through when we go to Port Elizabeth for zone conferences, but I won't get to stop and visit anyone!  That's okay I'll see them when I visit at the end with mom and dad.  It' also nice for your travel plans mom and dad because George and Knysna are so close!  Sister Mason who lives in Knysna said we have to stay with them when we come! (there loaded) and her husband President Mason is 1st counselor in the mission presidency.
     Now I am in George.  I met Elder Nzukis new companion at the airport and he was way sick!  Poor guy. He's from America and he seems cool.  MY new Companion is Elder Fozard from Leeds England.  Its been a really great new transfer he is awesome and alot of fun!  The area is 100% white people! It's WAY different like a whole new world!  But its been a little hard because they are ALL VERY EXTREMELY racist and I HATE that.  It  is so uncomfortable!  They are  not like the Knysna whites they are nice but they are so racist and its corrupted Elder Fozard a little so now he's a little racist and that's hard!  He LOVES to go to this members house and they are a little corrupt and pretty blunt.  They said they probably won't like me because I'm not racist and too strict!  Oh well, I won't have to answer to that I'm actually proud that that's how they view me! hah   I already miss the township so bad, and black people!
     Our district is.........are you ready..........A FOUR MAN DISTRICT!!!!!! YES!!!!  We have DL Elder Dillion of Arizona and Elder Henrico of Tanzania! They have the township the area is still considered banisment (far far away) but at least there's four of us!
     So last week I did force Elder Nzuki on Monday to go see the elephants!  So you can see some of those pictures!  I'm still in another branch and one that struggles terribly but I like the challenge!  Missionary's here play a HUGE roll in the function and growth of a branch especially  because its under the mission and not a stake!
      So yes I still have a car but my guess is that I'll be here for three months then I'll go to a walking area!  The weather here is also very effected by global warming, it's cool one day and hot the next hopefully soon it will just be cold.  I'm done with the heat!  I think if I walk I will just look like an anorexic.  It is such a task to keep my weight above 130 and right now I'm failing, I'm like 128 ha but I feel great and I know that comment is going to freak dad out,  but don't worry I'm eating a lot and white missionaries love to eat out so I'm sure I'll gain lots of weight! I am pretty sure the baby will come this week and it KILLS ME to be here! So you can always call or email the mission office and one of the elders or couples will call me!

     Well its going grrreat hear!  Please just pray for these racist whites and pray that I won't be corrupted!  I know that this gospel is true and I love it!  I love going everyday relying on the promptings of the spirit.  I have a solid testimony that if we listen we can always be guided by it.  Our Father in Heaven loves each of us and is aware of our situation!  I love you family and friends and thank you all for your love and prayers!    Love Elder Balmforth

Monday, March 14, 2011


Hello again!
It' s been a good week here in Knysna!  So really nothing huge or great happened this week!  Laticia is doing fine it's sadly but really a funny story!  I shouldn't laugh but she did, so whatever!  Also Luyanda (my recent convert)  moved to Cape Town this morning without Veronica (his wife also a RC) he got work there and its really hard to find work so he has no choice.  But maybe if I serve there I will see him!   Hopefully he will be back in Knysna when I visit there at the end of my mission. It was hard to say goodbye I hate good byes, but most of all I hate that I get so attached to people!  I am not in the right business because I just get so attached to people ha but I know its okay and I would rather have the experience and time with them than not at all!
I'm sooooo glad Peter is almost leaving I wish him the best.  He will do amazing he is such a people person! I'm glad you all got to see some of my friends, it sounds like some of them have changed and that's sad but I half expected it so oh well.  I've been thinking a lot lately about why the Lord expects so much out of 19 year ols! and I've realized its not that much when you see what so many others have gone through!  Sure its hard but I know it will be worth it and I'm enjoying the experience!  The George Elders asked if we wanted to go to the elephant park today where you can go ride them and see them but Elder Nzukie said on the phone "I've seen thanks!"   HA, I HAVEN'T, I wanna go so bad but he pulled the senior companion card on me and I bet your having a hard time picturing that because my own father had a hard time pulling the senior companion card on me. I know I'm stubborn and do my own thing so I just said "your dumb" and shut my mouth hahahaha oh  whatever.
So I received the was a little explicit but what else can I expect. Anyways which brother of Mariannes's passed away? Tell her she's in my prayers and I love her.  Brenna is SOOOOOO funny  just laughed so hard at her on the tape haha I love her she sound so grown up!  Mom, you mentioned that I feel sick all the time!  I don't!!  I feel great! Stop worrying!
The letters I received were some of the best so just some side note comments.
MER: don't feel bad I totally hit one of those cement things too and so I got out and some big thing fell off the front of the car and I just picked it up and said what the heck is this? Shrugged my shoulders and thought oh well!  Then I got back in the car and said to myself, the lord is gunna be TICKED haha just like Brenna!
LAURA:  I cannot believe how close your second companion experience is to mine!  I'm shocked seriously there almost identical!  But I think you had it worse!  You must have had to go through that to prepare me so sorry about that one ha!
Mom, I love yours and Grandma's, Oma's and Brooke's and Courteney's weekly letters but your poor handwriting in cursive looks just like grandma's and I think you should not write in cursive anymore haha it shows great effort though and I really appreciate it!
The weather this week has been okay Monday was hotter than hot and the rest of the week has been mostly cool! Thank heavens!!!!!  I think I'll probably stay here for one more transfer then I'll go to a walking area : sad but I think its my turn and it's his only opportunity because it will be cold so I'll do it!
Speaking of cars...........I got a freaking ticket!  I've never even been pulled over before!  But they have stupid traffic cameras here and they snap your darn picture if your speeding and send it to the office then you get a dreaded phone call!  But don't worry dad it doesn't effect your insurance I know that's what was running through your head!  It's not on my record or anything all this flippin government wants is your money!  It's hard to know how fast I'm going when it's Ks per hour not miles! Don't worry I've repented!
Transfer day is Tuesday and I have a feeling we will both be staying.  I don't know why I just have a feeling. Oh well.  So mom NO we don't all get together for transfers!  Do you know how much that would cost to FLY all the Elders to Cape Town then back to their area!  Every one just gets a phone call. If they call Tuesday night then he will leave.  If they call Wednesday I will leave and if they don't call at all we stay. That's basically it.
So we did service with sister Mason this week!  She is AWESOME.  She has her own non profit organization and she does lots of service!  So we went to a shelter for abused women and helped clear land for a playground. it was fun but hot.
Anyways I hope your all doing great I'm slowly working on letters and I appreciate all of them!  I'm so thankful for this opportunity to serve and I know that this gospel is true and I know who ever stays faithful to it will truly be blessed in there lives! I'm SO thankful for a living prophet who guides us where we need to go. And I'm so thankful for our Savior, Jesus Christ and his atoning sacrifice I've learned so much by striving daily to follow his perfect example!  It's very hard to do but I have seen so many blessings by just trying.  I love you all and I'm so thankful for your love and support over these past can you believe it FIVE months! Love ya have a great week!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Busy Week 03/07/11

Well another week.  As my companion would say (every 5 seconds) "woo time flies".

We have had a very busy week.  We had a trip to George which is about an hour and a half drive.  Elder Nzuki had to do some baptismal interviews there and I being his driver went with him.  It was a nice drive it's a very beautiful area and I am lucky to be here.  One second you can be driving through a jungle the next second your in the woods, (like home) and the next second your driving along the coast.  The land is so diverse here.  (Mom and Dad read my patriarchal blessing).  Then we had to go to Port Elizabeth for zone conference, it was the best conference yet.  I love those meetings they are the most spiritual and uplifting things I've ever been to.  Yes, the drive is way long and my bony butt was killing me but it was worth it.  We talked about the Book of Mormon in conversion and how to make it more simple.  This gospel really is so simple.  It's basically explaining the steps Heavenly Father wants us to take and how we need to go about it.  I am constantly learning more and more.

This Sunday was great.  We had lots of visitors.  Four of them were from America!!!!  There were two girls doing service here from California and then a couple visiting friends from Orem, Utah.  It was so good to meet them and visit with them.  We will be going on Tuesday to help President and Sister Mason (members of the branch and also the mission presidency) and the same group of teens on Tuesday with their service project.  I hope it's not too hot.  Any way the couple from Utah have our address and dad's cell number and are going to visit when they get home.

As far as the work went this week it was a slow one.  I have not had one of these yet but they are not fun.  We had to drop a ton of our investigators because they were just not interested and so my week was filled with finding new people and it's been hard.  We are not finding any prepared people.  Where are they?  I know they are out there it just gets frustrating , but we hang in there and don't get too discouraged.  We have just been doing all we can and leave the rest up to the Lord. 

Luyanda and Veronica were confirmed yesterday and it was so awesome!!!  They are so happy but now Luyanda has to move to Cape Town for work, it is really tough getting work in South Africa so he is just doing whatever he can.  We will contact the missionaries there and the Branch President and get them involved, so they stay active.

The weather this week has been HOT and sometimes warm.  I can't wait for the winter!!  I finished all my letters and have not gotten any this week but I will soon I am sure.  We did have one great experience this week.  We were out looking for investigators and came upon this older man and woman. ( I love old people)
They were taking out all their furniture so they could lay down a new floor.  So we stopped and asked if we could help.  They did not speak English but knew we wanted to help, so they let us in and we began helping them.  When the task was finished we gave them a pamphlet, our names and number.  We left them with a prayer and said goodbye.  Later that day we got a phone call from their daughter.  She said her parents said two angles came and helped them and the daughter was so grateful and asked to see us so we set an appointment and will be seeing her soon.  I am glad we listened to the prompting of the spirit in where we should go that day to find people to help.

Happy Birth week mom.  I used to hate when you would say that.  Then after a week it turns into a birth month, haha.  But I miss being your little slave.  Brenna is about the age to be trained for that job.  Anyway, I love you and  THANK YOU SO MUCH for all you do.  I know I cause you a lot of stress, but just know that I am okay.  Have a Happy Birthday!

Well, it's been a great week and one that has definitely strengthened my faith and testimony in all that I am doing.  This is one TOUGH job and life, but soooooo rewarding.  Thank you all for your love and support and most of all prayers.  It means a lot.  Have a great week